I recently made it back from Milwaukee to visit the sister and see other family for Thanksgiving. There was no Kendo or Iaido involved for the trip, but it was all worth it with the good food I ate and the cool things I saw in the area.
In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take the opportunity to list the things I am thankful for when it comes to my martial arts circles:
- I am thankful for the support I have received from my family from day one of me starting Kendo and Iaido. I have heard of many cases of family members not giving people any support due to lack of understanding on the parties involved or general family dynamics. I have been lucky enough to even have my family willingly fly out to see some of my tournaments at their request. That really means a lot to me and it’s been a major catalyst for me sticking with it.
- I am thankful for the friends that I have gained from doing Kendo and Iaido over the years. When I moved to Cincinnati almost three years ago, I was able to instantly make friends due to having a common activity with people that are very willing to support each other. I do sometimes wonder how my life would have been if I never continued with these arts. Beforehand, I was playing video games, watching anime and hanging out online. I imagine that I’d be living a lonely life similar to that, which honestly wasn’t all that much fun when I look back on it.
- I am thankful for the many opportunities that I get when it comes to participating in Kendo and Iaido events. Because I have limited obligations outside of work, I have been able to participate in various seminars, tournaments and promotional exams throughout the country. I have also been able to participate in up to five practices per week which gives me a lot of chances to improve myself throughout the week. I’m even able to lead practices for some of those times, which has helped me in ways that I never thought it would in terms of ability and confidence.
Whether or not we have ample access to reliable resources to improve ourselves, we should always be thankful for what we have in front of us. On one end, having one practice where one can learn a lot and reflect for the rest of the week is better than having no practice at all. On the other end, one must be happy to have such opportunities for ample training. Because or lives can change at any moment, there are possibilities that we might not be able to do it with such frequency as easily later in life.
Well, I hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend, whether or not you celebrate it. Now that everyone has eaten their fill of turkey and other random food stuffs, it’s time to sit back, relax and prepare for our return to the regular work week.